Found over on Outer Rim Territories:
In San Antonio, the LCMS is putting on its triennial National Youth Gathering. I’ve caught a couple of the live streams and have been musing on what I’ve seen. It has been largely consistent from what I remember of the last San Antonio event that I attended twelve years ago.
You can take in the materials and watch live video here: http://lcmsgathering.com. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether such gatherings are helpful or harmful to life in the parish and the life of faith. You can watch the replays of Monday and Tuesday here: http://new.livestream.com/LiveLoved/events/2168511.
Pr. Borghardt posted a video for Higher Things on “Worship and Youth Ministry.” His little video is helpful in understanding why youth conferences and gatherings should resemble and build up the life of the local congregation.
Pr. Sawyer wondered about the distinction between “worship” and “mass events.” Pr. Wilken picked up on the same question here with many helpful comments on both sides of the aisle.
Pr. Peters linked to an article by James K.A. Smith called: An Open Letter to Praise Bands.
- If we, the congregation, can’t hear ourselves, it’s not worship.
- If we, the congregation, can’t sing along, it’s not worship.
- If you, the praise band, are the center of attention, it’s not worship.
Be sure also to read Smith’s “Postscript.”
Pr. Juhl linked to a thought provoking article from David Fitch entitled: “Why Do American Christians Prefer Big?” In short:
- Big is seen as a sign God is there.
- A celebrity pastor/teacher is a known quantity.
- Big church is less messy.
Pr. Fisk did a video summary of the 2010 National Youth Gathering and the sociological research about “moralistic therapeutic deism.” It’s worth your consideration: